Clear, Focused, and Positive

Truthfully, this past week has been pretty lame. It wasn’t a bad week, or anything, we just didn’t do anything very noteworthy. Aside from enjoying a few days in the high 90’s (my sister has compared me to a snake for my love of the heat, and I’m not even mad about it), and having a long overdue phone date with my person,

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A nice throwback of my cousin/best friend (AKA my person) and me

we stuck pretty close to a borderline boring routine this week. Fortunately, that means that I had time to start working on a small blog series I’ve been wanting write about goal realization and positivity. I’m going to break it down into two or three blog posts because I think it’s really important, and I would love to even get some discussion going on some of the points.If you have anything to add or ask, please feel free to comment or email me privately so we can chat some more!

Does anyone else feel they learn better when they are teaching? I know I definitely do, so I think it’s fitting that I write about something that I’m struggling with and working through right now. You all know that I’ve been in a bit of a funk, feeling like I need more adventure and time to work on things I’m passionate about. I’ve discussed how I broke my time down and made sure I was dedicating at least a small amount of time to everything I was deeply desiring. I’ve talked about starting with a strict schedule, and how that schedule eventually gave me clarity on what my time looked like, and I was then able to flow better through my days, hitting each thing I wanted to do without feeling so rigid. You may also remember that I said I wasn’t feeling as fulfilled as I thought I could feel, and that this solution was just a temporary fix to help me make the best of my current situation while I worked through what what really sets my soul on fire. Well I’m still working through that part, and I want to share with all of you how I’m doing that. I want to offer some insight on what has and hasn’t been working for me, what has worked in the past, and invite you to share some thoughts and insight of your own. Before I begin, you may want to go back to the aforementioned post on prioritizing to refresh yourself on some of my ultimate “whats and whys,” and how creating a strict calendar for a few weeks actually gave me some freedom.  To simplify things quite a bit, what I really crave is a life of passion – and who doesn’t? I want to work hard at a career that I love, one that allows me to travel and gives me time to pursue creative passions. And above all else, I want to travel. You already know that I don’t need a lot of “stuff,” and that I’m not afraid to pack up and move everything I do own to a different place thousands of miles away. So converting a school bus to live in feels like the ultimate dream. But these dreams are still kind of vague, and even they took a while to arrive at. So how did I get here, and how do I plan on gaining more clarity to better direct my focus?

  • Staying positive. Easier said than done, for sure. I typically subscribe to the idea that there is a greater force that wants us to be happy. To be honest, I don’t know what that force is. I can’t say that I’m religious, or that I think it’s necessarily magic of any sort, but I do know that any time I have known a person to truly believe that they can get something they want, and that they deserve it, it happens so much faster than a negative Nancy who whines and complains about never getting what they want. Things just seem to come easier to people who focus their thoughts in a positive way. Now, I recognize that this is largely because the person who doesn’t waste time and energy throwing a pity party is more likely to seek out what he or she desires, but those actions alone speak volumes about the power of positive thinking, and I don’t see any harm in believing that having a more intentional way of thinking gives you an unseen upper hand. Think about it, if you have it set in your head that you are 100% going to have a great day, no matter what happens, how much more likely is your day going to be pleasant than if you wake up just knowing that today will suck? Call it self-fulfilling prophecy, call it faith, call it psychology, it all points to the idea that being more positive will yield more positive outcomes. So with this sentiment in mind, staying positive has been a huge day to day goal for me. This isn’t to say that sometimes I don’t allow myself a good cry, curled up with a teen drama and pint of ice cream, but I do try to focus on pulling myself out of my darker thoughts as soon as can. I use upbeat music, positive podcasts and audio books, a nice long bubble bath, a long walk, or whatever I can think of at the moment to get myself out of my funk. The goal is feel out the negative feelings and move on to the positive ones, rather than dwell or suppress.

 

  • Getting clear and focused. Okay, so truth be told, I feel like a bit of a hypocrite telling you how to do this one, because it is something I am currently struggling with. My hopes are that putting it out to all of you will a) give me a light bulb moment and/or b) solicit some tips and ideas from you! I have a general idea of what I want: travel, passion, time to enjoy life. The travel aspect I have worked out in my head a little bit more clearly than the other parts, but the “how’s” are largely dependent on so many things that I’m unclear on, so even that becomes difficult to generate a full picture of. What I do know is how I arrived at these vague ideas, and how I’ve been focusing my attention on them. Each night I do a voice journal. I talk about what I’ve been thinking about, how I’ve been feeling, and name some goals and things I’m grateful for. It is amazing what you can talk out with yourself when you’re just saying things out loud, rather than in your head. I have deduced mountains to molehills in fifteen minutes, just having a conversation with myself and a free voice recorder app on my phone. Think crying, hyperventilating, Earth shattering moments solved by just saying it out loud. The opposite has also come from this exercise, recognizing specific details that send me into an overwhelmingly happy place, based off of super vague goals. Talking about your deepest, darkest desires and dreams with yourself into a voice recorded may seem awkward at first, but I swear it changed my life. I know that sounds cheesy, but you can ask Dan – who I have been known to drive a little bit crazy with upbeat thoughts before morning coffee -what a difference this has made on my life. One of the biggest reasons this, along with podcasts and audio books, works so well for me is that I’m a very auditory learner. I love to read and write, but what truly resonates with me is sound.  This is why you’ll frequently find me making up songs to remember where I put my cell phone, why I have a word association for most important things I need to remember, and why teaching other people helps me learn better. I swear by the voice journal, and I’ve also been experimenting with some guided meditation to help me clear my brain and get focused, but those who learn or are more stimulated in other ways might find different approaches work better. A lot of people swear by visual cues, like vision boards, goal oriented computer and cellphone backgrounds, and positive post it notes (my total type A personality also freaking loves post it notes). Some people find that guided journals work wonders. And some people need something more tangible and hands on, like workshops and classes. There are so many ways to help you get clear and focused on what lights up your world, you just have to find what works best for you.

 

I have plenty more that I want to discuss on this topic, but this week I just want to leave it at these two points because I think they’re very important, and that they are two big steps to work through. Both of these items involve taking a good, hard look at yourself. Your attitude, thoughts, and desires dictate so much of your life, so instead of moving on to the part where we work outwardly toward our goals, I want everyone to take (at least) a week to reflect internally on what those goals are, and how to keep a positive focus on them, and on life in general. What I have here is just the tip of a really cool (heh) iceberg. Find what works best in helping you focus and stay positive, and share with me what you find! Like I mentioned, my personal reason for this post is teaching myself by teaching others and sparking some good discussion. I hope you all have a happy week!

(But before you go, please enjoy these pictures of our adorable pets to help you get through this week being happy and positive!)

 

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